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Woodward eighth-grader to compete at state contest in National Geographic Bee

Evan Lisinski displays his medal for winning the 2013 National Geographic Bee recently at Woodward Middle School. He will now compete in the state contest at Pacific Lutheran University. - Photo courtesy of Ed Lisinski
Evan Lisinski displays his medal for winning the 2013 National Geographic Bee recently at Woodward Middle School. He will now compete in the state contest at Pacific Lutheran University.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Ed Lisinski

Some day, Evan Lisinski would like to visit Germany. And Hong Kong.

In the meantime, he’ll have to make do with a trip to Tacoma.

Evan, an eighth-grader at Woodward Middle School, was the winner in the 2013 National Geographic Bee that was held at the Bainbridge school on Jan. 11.

Now, Evan will advance to the state bee on Friday, April 5 at Pacific Lutheran University.

He faced quite a bit of competition to advance. Woodward’s bee had a field of 263 eighth-graders and 276 seventh-graders in the contest.

He advanced as one of 10 finalists, and took the top spot after correctly answering “What country is immediately south of Lake Balkhash?” (The answer is Kazakhstan.)

Amy Bourmatnov came in second.

Evan was competing in his second bee; he was a finalist last year.

Evan said his interest in geography was sparked when he was much younger.

“When I was really little, I found this coloring book from the 1970s,” he recalled.

Inside were maps of places such as the Soviet Union, and Europe.

Some of the names of foreign places stuck in his mind.

“I started to realize about three years ago that I had a really good memory. I can remember just about anything if I put my mind to it,” he said.

Evan said he prepared for the geobee by reading up online.

“The CIA has some really good information on the world,” he said.

Evan, 14, is the son of Ed and Sarah Lisinski.

He said his secret to success with remembering different places across the globe is to think of something visual.

Take Germany and Hong Kong, for example.

“It’s a really old culture, many old cathedrals and interesting features, and Hong Kong is really interesting, with the British and Chinese cultures melded together.”

Winners of the state bees will advance to the national contest, which will be held May 20–22.

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